Gentleman in waiting

Today’s stunning guest picture was sent to me my friend and fellow church choir member, Anne. It was taken by her son, David, on the Moray Firth. He didn’t realise at the time that there are two animals hidden in the picture.

We had another fine day here. This was very lucky as Mrs Tootlepedal was meeting with a couple of environmentalists from Yorkshire who are interested in the buy out group’s plans for the Langholm Moor. She and fellow members of the group met the visitors for socially distanced coffee and then took them up to the moor to show them around.

This took her most of the morning and as I was waiting for a delivery of much needed tea leaves and coffee beans at an unspecified time, this gave me the perfect excuse to have a very idle spell.

And plenty of time to watch the birds. Fortunately, there were quite a few to watch including a goldfinch and a siskin chewing in unison.

Blackbirds stalked the drive, sneaking in to eat cotoneaster berries from under the window when I wasn’t looking.

For a while the busiest visitors were a great tit and a coal tit.

The great tit posing…

…and the coal tit hiding….

…and both on the feeder.

Other birds appeared, sometimes at such a speed that emergency braking was needed when approaching a perch.

After I had had a cup of good coffee, I went for a garden wander. Mrs Tootlepedal had had to defrost the car windscreen before setting out after another chilly night, but many flowers soldier on regardless. Some are in the pink…

…and others just keep going over the months.

I was surprised to see these today…

…Mrs Tootlepedal told me later that they are barberries. Some berberis berries are edible and some are poisonous. I am not going to try to see which these are.

I really like the new tall Michaelmas Daisy variety with dark stems whichMrs Tootlepedal has grown for the first time this year. She was worried that it wouldn’t come out in time but it has thrived in recent weeks and is looking better every day.

Although it was still a bit damp from the early morning dew, I mowed the front lawn. The sun is already low in the sky and the lawn doesn’t get a lot of sunshine even on a sunny day. I didn’t get much grass in the mower’s grass box, but I was still pleased to find it looking respectable for the time of year. I leaned out of an upstairs window later in the day, just for the record.

I wasn’t the only one at work in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back in time for lunch and was very happy to find a smoked salmon roll on the menu together with the hot lentil soup.

After lunch, I got my bicycle out and headed off round my undemanding 20 mile Canonbie circuit. Propelled by a favouring breeze, I got down to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass at just under fifteen miles an hour. I intended to take it very easily coming back up the gentle hill to Langholm into the wind, but my legs ran away with me and I got back home with my computer showing an average speed of 14mph, a very rare speed for me these days.

I did get a rest at both of the traffic lights on the way which might have helped, and I also stopped for a picture or two on my way up the road….

…and along the river.

It was a little warmer than it has been but the trees are turning as you can see.

(The cycle computer obligingly stops recording the time when I stop for traffic lights or photo ops so it doesn’t reflect the real time that I spent on my trip.)

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal came for a walk round the garden with me. I picked out a spirea for attention…

…while she thought that the little red rose deserved a place in this post. (I did too.)

Our neighbour Kenny has got a fine clematis on his garage, and we get a good view of it so we are grateful to him.

I had taken a picture of a clematis and what I thought was the last zinnia standing in my morning wander, but on this afternoon walk I found another zinnia doing well under the shelter of the sunflowers and I liked the sun shining through the clematis petals. I have made a ‘morning and afternoon’ panel.

Different zinnias but the same clematis. Isn’t light wonderful?

After we went in for a cup of tea, Mrs Tootlepedal kindly cut my hair. I then had a shower and a shave and was looking my best for the evening Zoom with my siblings. Sometimes we run out of things to say before the meeting’s time limit is up, but we must have been in sparkling form today as the meeting ended before we were ready for it.

The flying bird of the day is a traditional chaffinch.

Footnote: The coffee beans and teas arrived safely.

Further footnote. The header picture today is the heart of a daisy

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Gentleman in waiting

  1. A superb shot on the moray Firth,I wouldn’t have spotted the deer had you not pointed them out with your keen photographers eye.
    You had one of those days on the bike today,that’s a great avg speed,it’s a nice sight to see when you get home
    I used to get days like that,hmmm.
    Liked your river shots today. Nice to see some pollinators still around doing their thing.

  2. Glad you had a good biking day with good speed! It’s looking more like autumn in your area, although there are still plenty of outstanding blooms and pollinators hard at work. Another warm day here today, mid 80s again.

  3. With all the work Mrs. T. has put into it I hope the buy out group’s plans for the Langholm Moor will work out.
    The river views were beautiful.
    We have a native aster called purple stemmed aster but I’m not sure that’s it. Whatever its name it’s lucky to find a home in such a beautiful garden.

  4. Up early today, had to take her indoors to the local surgery for her flu jab. It was all done with military precision drive thru style. Six nurse dressed hazmat style armed with clipboards and needles. I chose not to have the jab each year. But getting back to today’s post, great shots of birds, flowers and scenes from your pedal as usual. Makes my day, cheers.

  5. Pleased you explained how the cycle computer stops when you do. Until then I was wondering how you managed 14 mph! (Such a trivial mind…)

  6. Fall is coming to your neck of the woods, as we might say in Maine. Like the way the flowers are bravely holding on. Also, glad Mrs. Tootlepedal is now well enough to resume her busy activities.

  7. Lovely view of the garden from upstairs window. Great bird photos and lovely views seen on your sunny cycle ride. Thanks for explaining the header photo…had me wondering!

  8. I’m rather late to the game with this comment, but oh my, that blackbird photo is wonderful! I also greatly enjoyed the “braking” bird at the feeder!

  9. The flowers are simply lovely and I like the touch of autumn leaves showing along the river. The lawn looks quite tidy.

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